Herman Minnema, 91, was known for his deep concern for the salvation of people—but not any less for their personal well-being. A restless practitioner of the ministerial office through old age, he died on June 26, after a brief illness. He was lucid till the end.
Minnema was born in Paterson, N.J., where he attended Christian grade school and high school. Following a deep sense of calling toward the gospel ministry, he attended both Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, graduating from the latter in 1946. He took another year to study at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, which awarded him the Th.M. degree. There he had the privilege of studying under Dr. John Murray, who had a profound influence on him.
Minnema was gifted both as a pastor and as a teacher. He began his ministerial career in 1947 as a Bible teacher at Eastern Academy in Paterson.
He went on to serve Terra Ceia (N.C.) CRC; Worthington (Minn.) CRC; Comstock CRC in Kalamazoo, Mich.; and Battle Creek (Mich.) CRC. He spent more than two decades as Bible teacher and chaplain at Kalamazoo Christian High School, retiring in 1991.
Minnema’s ministry was marked by integrity, straightforwardness, and a profound sense of duty. But he was also a man of deep love and winsome sympathy. Proverbs 3:3 was dear to his heart: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you.” It was said of Minnema that he pursued his Lord with an unquenchable thirst. His sermons were as biblical as they were practical. Pastoral visiting was the love of his heart. He had a winsome way with young people. And he was very dexterous, always ready to fix and build things.
After retiring, Minnema and his wife moved to Visalia, Calif., where he became the minister of visitation for First CRC of Hanford and First CRC of Visalia. In that capacity he served until the closing chapter of his life. Two joyful events took place shortly before his passing: the baptism of his first great-grandchild and writing a sermon, which his pastor later preached in his stead.
Minnema is survived by his wife, Marti, and their children Ted Minnema, Ruth and Tom MacKenzie, and Murray and Connie Minnema, and by four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his daughter Annemary Minnema.